Teenagers benefit from community project

Just About Musicians want more people to join their Summer School academy
Just About Musicians want more people to join their Summer School academy
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A CREATIVE music group set up by young people for young people in Wigan has been a resounding success.

Teenagers aged from 14 to 18, some of whom were founder members of Just About Musicians (JAM), came together to create Future Arts Co-operative (FAC) - a project now coming to an end.

The scheme was awarded £5,000 from Community Foundation for Greater Manchester and Grassroots Fund to set up.

So far FAC has run workshops, acted as mentors and identified and located venues and resources that the group needed to run successfully.

To explore musical avenues such as music making and technology, lyric and music writing, production and recording, FAC has worked with Brian Cannon, Emma Welsby of Sandi Thom, The Brokendoor and John Kettle of The Tansads.

Sue Prescott helped to launch the group.

She is studying for a PhD at Edge Hill University on Peer Group Collaboration in informal learning.

She said: “This project allowed these teenagers to reach out and identify people in our community who could work with them in meeting the needs of young people.

“I have been working in the community for the last seven years, I set up and established the group called JAM before these young men approached me to help them set up their group.

“The people who set this up wanted a group that was for them and run by them, a group that used the medium of the arts and more specifically music to aid their development, the development of other young artists and the development of an arts community in Wigan for young artists.”

Adam Prescott and Josh Hindle of ECD acted as mentors for some of the younger group members.

Adam, 18, said: “Young people get a lot of bad press but most are hard working, ambitious and dedicated.

“The situation in Wigan for young people has got worse rather than better over the last few years.

“Apart from King Street there is nowhere for young people to come together, especially if they want to be creative, productive and make a recognised contribution.

“Projects like this need more support from local government and organisations. There is a gap, a great big black hole for those aged 14 to 18, they want some independence from school, college and parents but the resources are not there within the community to support them in this.”

The project was sponsored by Richard and Jamie Cavanagh of the Fuzzbox recording studios.